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Three patients with acute myeloid leukaemia were treated with small doses of ARA-C (10 mg/m2/12 h, subcutaneous injections) and complete remission was obtained. The small doses of ARA-C, the progressive evolution, the absence of aplasia before remission, the simultaneous presence of normal islets of promyelocytes and leukaemic myeloblasts, favour a differentiating role for the drug rather than an antimitotic effect.